Shuttle vs. Car Rental

Discussion in 'Other Car Rental Programs' started by nonstopski, Feb 3, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. nonstopski

    nonstopski Silver Member

    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    101
    Status Points:
    375
    So here's a fun game of math and frugality:

    I'm flying into Kansas City in March and driving to the middle of Missouri, about 145 miles. 2 days later, I'm heading back to KC to fly out. So, imagining ~300 miles of car travel, I'm trying to figure out if a $57 economy car rental - booked through Hotwire (Hyundai accent or similar), would be cheaper than a $108 airport shuttle round trip.

    I don't really *need* the car when i'm outside of Kansas City, as I will be with other folks who have cars, but it would be handy to have my own car (and the cab/uber/etc service is essentially non-existant in the town). And it makes it easier to return to the airport whenever I want to instead of by the shuttle's schedule. But it's not a must.

    An economy car probably gets 35-40 miles per gallon on the highway, and this would be 95% highway miles. So I imagine I'd have to fill up a decent amount of the tank, but gas is under $2, especially in Missouri, so tack that on to the cost, roughly ~$25 for gas, plus that $57, and you're at $82.

    Are there fees I'm not adding in? Hotwire says I would be "shuttled" to the car rental vendor from the airport, so I don't know if there would be an airport fee or not that isn't showing up on Hotwire.

    As for insurance, I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which has primary CDW. I declined the rental reimbursement insurance on my Geico insurance, which "pays toward expenses for a rental car while repairs are being completed as a result of a covered loss." So I'm not 100% sure if I need any more coverage from the rental company (which would nullify any CSP coverage if I did accept it). Even if I did, for 2 days, it seems it would be about $27. Which puts it at $109, basically the same price as taking the shuttle, but providing more flexibility. Sure, added risk of getting in an accident, but that's very unlikely. :D

    Any thoughts on my crazy thought out plan here?
     
    daninstl likes this.
  2. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I suspect that the quote from your insurance policy applies to rental cars while your own vehicle is being repaired after an accident but you should check this....and generally check whether your auto, homeowner, or umbrella liability covers rental cars. IANAL.

    Are you under 25? Or a new driver, usually defined as having a (full) license for less than three years? Then there might be a surcharge.

    I've never paid for a rental car shuttle, but I do tip if the driver helps with luggage.

    I would rent the car unless doing so would require driving in a blizzard or while badly jet lagged.
     
  3. nonstopski

    nonstopski Silver Member

    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    101
    Status Points:
    375
    You are indeed correct sir.

    "Does my auto policy cover a rental car for vacation / pleasure?
    Yes. The comprehensive , collision and liability coverages on your auto policy will
    extend to the rental car (at the same limits/deductibles that you currently carry) provided the following conditions are met:

    • The rental period is 30 days or fewer
    • The rental is a private passenger vehicle
    • The rental is used for personal use in the United States, Canada, or U.S. Possessions
    • The rental is rented in your and/or your spouse's or eligible partner's name
    • The rental is being operated by you, your spouse/eligible partner or other relatives in your household and the operator is an authorized driver on the rental contract
    Important Notes:

    • You do not need to purchase the Collision Deductible Waiver from the rental agency; however, in the event of a loss to the rental car, you will be responsible for paying your policy's collision deductible.
    • The expenses to rent a car would not be reimbursed by GEICO."
    I think this rental makes a lot of sense!
     
    daninstl and traveltoomuch like this.
  4. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

    Messages:
    774
    Likes Received:
    912
    Status Points:
    795
    Your GEICO policy + CSP primary cover should be just fine. There shouldn't be any additional costs on the car, but see if you can use Autoslash to get an even lower rate.

    I would pick car or shuttle based on personal preference (prefer to not drive and be able to read, etc. during that time? or want the flexibility?). It sounds like you'd prefer the car. Get the car.

    (Rental reimbursement coverage from GEICO is something entirely unrelated - it pays for renting a car when your own is in the shop because of a covered accident/event.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
    daninstl likes this.
  5. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,288
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Status Points:
    1,120
    I know I'm a bit late responding to this topic but make sure you figure the airport car rental extra charges. Many times they don't disclose this properly on the rental reservations (I'm talking to you Dollar Rent a Car). Although your online rental car quote may have the taxes they sometimes don't include the airport location surcharges which can be quite high. MCI isn't too bad but it still adds up.

    It sounds like your thinking of taking the Columbia MO-X or EZGo shuttles. I've heard good things about them but have also observed some of the drivers on I-70 that aren't overly skilled. They would get killed in the left lane on the Autobahn. They typically use large 15 passenger type sprinter vans equipped with nice seats, wifi, etc.

    I think for the little extra cost it would be wise to rent the car. It's a time vs. money argument. I think it will be well worth your money to gain flexibility.

    Also you can fly direct into Columbia or Springfield on AA. AA runs a route from ORD and I think DFW to Columbia daily last time I checked. Not sure the cost is a fair trade though.

    I don't know exactly where you are going in Missouri but keep in mind that STL and MCI are about equal distance to the Columbia / Jeff City areas. I'd say Jeff City is slightly closer from STL. Figure 2 hours from either airport unless weather or rush hour happen for you.

    Amtrak also runs a route between downtown KC and downtown STL that stops in Mid Missouri (Missouri River Runner). Last time I booked it was about $30 from MCI-STL. It would be an easier connection from STL. Fly into STL, take light rail (MetroLink to the downtown Amtrak Intermodal center) then Amtrak. Not sure the train times would work but worth a thought. It would be cheaper than a rental car or shuttle from STL but the taxi from MCI to Amtrak would eat this up on the MCI side.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  6. nonstopski

    nonstopski Silver Member

    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    101
    Status Points:
    375
    Yup, used to go to school at Mizzou for 4 years! I know my way around Missouri. I kinda hate MO-X. Find their seats and ride incredibly uncomfortable (constantly bumping up and down). It's overpriced too. I'd rather drive myself, which is what I decided to do!
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
    daninstl likes this.
  7. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    921
    Status Points:
    750
    You left off tips to the shuttle driver -- at least 10 to 15 bucks.

    What we often do is stay near the airport the first night and pick the car up the next morning. Works really well if you have a morning flight home.

    DTWBOB
     
    satman40 and daninstl like this.
  8. raysirx

    raysirx Active Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status Points:
    70
    I suggest renting and putting your reservation into autoslash.com

    My ewr to jfk one way rental dropped from $47 to $31 with autoslash
     
    daninstl likes this.
  9. nonstopski

    nonstopski Silver Member

    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    101
    Status Points:
    375
    thought about it but I ended up doing it through priceline name your own price, which means I can't cancel it as far as I know. It was so much cheaper than anything on any other site at $47 total, I went with it. Will be interesting to compare it to what the rates are leading up to the trip... autoslash may have beaten it in the end.
     
    satman40 likes this.
  10. paulmcq

    paulmcq Active Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status Points:
    60
    The other issue to consider is your time. In my experience (only at ABIA), leaving the airport in a shuttle takes a bit longer than renting a car (assuming you have frequent-renter status to by-pass the counter), but only because at ABIA you can walk directly to the rental garage--no bus required. However, the return trip is a different story. Shuttles often require that you leave ridiculously early, and/or stop to pick up other passengers on the way. Returning a car can be two to ten minutes, and a possible bus ride. YMMV.
     
  11. tomanst

    tomanst Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    9
    Status Points:
    35
    satman40 likes this.
  12. BarneyJ

    BarneyJ New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status Points:
    15
    Used it couple times! Really good application!
     
    satman40 likes this.

Share This Page